« 前へ次へ »
was still seizing their persons, draining their purses, checking the cultivation of their lands : prolonging the slavery of their friends at camps no longer either useful or glorious : abridging every enjoyment? scorning every complaint? In a word, persisting to bear down the rights and liberties of a great people, without performing any one achievement that could extend the publick dominion, or recompense the national pride : For a short time, indeed, they might continue to suffer, and submit. But, when a year or two had rolled away, with what feelings would they view their rulers ?—Like other mobs, they would begin to grow reasonable on a reverse; and, having conquered as much as they could, they would pretend to despise conquest; and ask what the poor were to gain by the protraction of the war; and whether glory would pay the taxes, and all the other sensible questions which are so little in vogue with enthusiastick mobs, and yet occur so readily to mobs that are out of humour: and this feeling of discontent and disgust would be diligently fomented by all those turbulent adventurers who are invariably bred by the disorders of a state; men who hate whatever is; and, with them, would join the irritated and numerous body whom personal osfences, or envy, had excited against the government—and the active friends and spies of foreign states; and the reasonable few who could understand the advantages of freedom; and the busy informers who are fond of popular equality. In considering the sum of these probabilities, we should never forget that the constitution of modern society is eminently favourable to the internal freedom and external independence of nations. The use of printing, the diffusion of commercial opulence, and the full and ready intercourse which now connects all parts of the civilized world, have given a weight and an intelligence
to publick opinion, which it never possessed in any former period of history. In all the great states of antiquity, the proportion of those who could judge of publick measures was always incredibly small; and the great mass of the people, having no notion of obtaining wealth or consequence by the pursuits of peaceful industry, had often a real interest in the injustice and usurpations of their rulers. A few factious and enterprising spirits, therefore, in the army, or at the seat of government, could generally overthrow the constitution at home, or lead the strength of the nation into unjust wars abroad, without meeting with any effectual check in the publick disapprobation. Now
adays, however, when nearly one
fourth part of all the grown inhabitants of civilized Europe read tolerably correct accounts of what is doing in every part of it; and when the great body of the people has acquired, or is acquiring, consideration and comfort by means of commercial pursuits; it is easy to see what an ample provision is made against the cxcesses of tyranny, and the permanent abuses of military power. The great body of the people know both their interest and their power far better now, than they ever did in any former age; and they know, pretty generally, that their power is irresistible; and that it is not their in
but if they be ever allowed to settle into the habits and enjoyments of peace, all the natural interests and reflections which are generated by the very structure of modern society, will expand with tenfold vigour, and oppose a most formidable resistance to the tyranny which would again repress them for the purposes of its own extension. If the dawnings of such a spirit, however, were now to appear in France, the government would be constrained to do one of these two things: either it must weaken the national power, by disbanding a part of its forces, which, in itself, will be an obvious advantage to us; or it must free the French nation from her burthens, by permanently quartering the troops in distant parts of the continent, to be supported from the tribute of conquered states, where any thing is to be found which they can levy; and, as to the rest, from the distribution of conquered lands. Then a love of indolence, luxury and property, will quickly succeed, in the breasts of the soldiers, to the enthusiasm of war; their habits will be new modelled, their arms begin to rustin sloth, and local attachments will supersede the restlessness natural to homeless adventurers. Thus, that power which cannot be snapped asunder, may be gradually dissolved. The system of conquest will be disorganized; France will be enfeebled by the consequences of her own success; and the fertile districts of the plundered continent become the Capua of the modern Hannibal. Rome herself, we should remember, continued to flourish, only while she continued to extend her dominion. The moment she ceased to be progressive, she began to go back; and the same must ever be the fate of military power, when compelled to pause, by the want of means or of motives to exertion. If such a state of things could be brought about, and it seems by no means impracticable, the policy of
Great Britain would be simple and easy. If peace should be still unattainable, she must continue her maritime exertions with all possible vigour, and preserve, on the sea, that unequalled authority which alone can balance the supremacy of her rival on the land encouraging and protecting her commerce; extending it wherever her flag can enter; but, above all, adopting a most liberal and conciliating policy to the states not immediately engaged in the war; and returning to that broad and proud principle of honour, which, amidst all her infatuations, never deserted her, till she acquired a taste for invading the rights and the property of neutrals. Lord Nelson is said to have advised, that a large disposable force should be kept constantly ready, at a moment’s notice, to annoy the coasts of the enemy; not always by long concerted and regular descents, but by all those modes of vexatious and obstructive warfare which are so completely in the power of an unresisted maritime belligerent. However, the mode and application of our naval hostility must be left to the decision of those whose professional experience makes them most competent to estimate the plans and hints that, from time to time, are suggested. All that we venture to urge is, the absolute necessity of restricting ourselves, throughout Europe, to a war simply maritime. Thus, we should be fighting only where we could ensure success; and reserving our military resources for times when they might be serviceably employed. Such times, too, would at length arise; and we should then be prepared to take advantage of them. Those countries whose cessions and submissions have purchased their repose, would be gradually recruiting their population and resources in this season of quiet; and insensibly acquiring a power that might be exerted at last in a really vigorous confederacy of the continental states; a confederacy where the people should have an interest; a confederacy constructed with better judgment, and better experience. Though the troops which those states could furnish, are not now on a par with the legions of Buonaparte, in any one essential of an army, yet the interval of a few years would go a great way to restore the equilibrium; for, while the force on our side had been increasing and improving, by diligent training and recruiting, that of Buonaparte would have been degenerating by disuse, toward the level of a new and inexpert militia. It would naturally decline in its numbers, its habits, and its spirit. Thus, France would have lost, and her opposers would have gained: and then, if a coalition could be formed on solid principles, it might, indeed, conduce to that deliverance of Europe which we talk of so idly at the present day. In fine, if France be now far stronger, and the continental powers far weaker, than when she first beat them at the beginning of her revolu
tionary career, the latter surely cannot hope to gain anything by renewing that unequal contention; and, if it be evident that both the ambition and the power of France have been chiefly fostered and encouraged by the irritation and impotence of those successive attacks which have exhausted the strength of her enemies, it seems reasonable to make the experiment, at least, of an opposite policy; and to try the effects of that repose which may recruit the strength and spirits of the vanquished, and soften down the discipline, the force, and the animosity of the victors. o t In what we have now stated, we have purposely avoided the discussion of the great and important question as to the probability of our obtaining peace, or the consequences of our accepting of it, at this critical moment. Such a question is far too momentous to be considered incidentally in the course of another speculation; but we hope very soon to be able to lay before our readers an article devoted to its discussion.
FROM THE BRITISH CRITIC K.
Poems; by Mary Russeil Milford. Foolscap, 8vo. 160 pp. 7s. 1810.
ELEGANCE of taste, and liveliness of fancy distinguish these effusions of a very young poetess. In the first poem, which is a tale entitled Sybille, she has imitated, but with spirit and success, the style of Mr. Walter Scott; and the story appears to be taken from the legends of her own family. The smaller poems which follow are on pleasing subjects, and such as naturally present themselves to the mind of so young a writer; but the poem “on the uncertain fate of Mungo Park,” rises to a higher strain, and exhibits marks of vigour which might do credit to a much more practised pen. After stating the benevolent objects of Park’s second expedition, she says:
“For this the wanderer went. And how he
We pause here, though the poetess does not, because we think the four concluding lines rather inferiour; but the whole is a composition of great merit.
SPIRIT OF THE MAGAZINES.
The following remarks upon the Nature and Cause of Sea Sickness, are extracted from Dr. William H. Wollaston’s Croonian Lecture.
THE second remark which I have to offer to the society, relates to sea sickness, the cause of which has not hitherto been fully explained; and, although the explanation which I am about to propose, may not appear altogether satisfactory to persons who, when at sea, are also rendered giddy by the incessant motion of the waves, and are consequently liable to consider as cause and effect phenomena which in their minds, are constantly associated; yet the observation on which it is founded may deserve to be recorded, on account of the degree of relief that may be obtained in that most distressing affection. After I had been harassed by sea sickness during a short voyage for some days, and had in vain attempted to account for the difference between the inexperienced passenger, and those around him, more accustomed to the motion of the sea, I imperceptibly acquired some power of resisting its effects, and had the good fortune to observe a peculiarity in my mode of respiration, evidently connected with the motion of the vessel, but of which, in my then enfeebled state, I was unable to investigate either the cause or consequence. In waking from a state of very disturbed sleep, I found that my respirations were not taken with the accustomed uniformity, but were interrupted by irregular pauses, with an appearance of watching for some Vol. iv., - 2 D
favourable opportunity for making the succeeding effort; and it seemed as if the act of inspiration were in some manner to be guided by the tendency of the vessel to pitch with an uneasy motion. The mode by which I afterwards conceived that this action could primarily affect the system, was by its influence on the motion of the blood; for, at the same instant that the chest is dilated for the reception of air, its vessels become also more open to the reception of the blood; so that the return of blood from the head is more free than at any other period of a complete respiration. On the contrary, by the act of expelling air from the lungs, the ingress of blood is so far obstructed, that, when the surface of the brain is exposed by the trepan, a successive turgescence and subsidence of the brain is seen, in alternate motion with the different states of the chest. It is probably from this cause that, in severe head aches, a degree of temporary relief is obtained by occasional complete inspirations. In sea sickness also, the act of inspiration will have some tendency to relieve, if regulated so as to counteract any temporary pressure of blood upon the brain; but the cause of such pressure requires first to be investigated. All those who have ever suffered from sea sickness (without being giddy) will agree that the principle
uneasiness is felt during the subsidence of the vessel by the sinking of the wave on which it rests. It is during this subsidence that the blood has a tendency to press with unusual force upon the brain. If a person be supposed standing erect upon deck, it is evident that the brain, which is uppermost, then sustains no pressure from the mere weight of the blood, and that the vessels of the feet and lower parts of the body must contract; with a force sufficient to resist the pressure of a column of blood, of between five and six feet, from the head downwards. If the deck were by any means suddenly and entirely removed; the blood would be no longer supported by its vessels; but both would fall together with the same velocity by the free action of gravity; and the same contraction of the vessels which before supported the weight of the blood would now occasion it to press upon the brain, with a force proportional to its former altitude. In the same manner, and for the same reason, during a more gradual subsidence of the deck, and partial removal of support, there must be a partial diminution of the pressure of the blood upon its vessels, and consequently a partial reaction upon the brain, which would be directly counteracted by a full inspiration. The consequence of external motion upon the blood, will be best elucidated by what may be seen to occur in a column of mercury similarly circumstanced. A barometer, when carried out to sea in a calm, rests at the same height at which it would stand on shore; but, when the ship falls by subsidence of the wave, the mercury is seen apparently to rise in the tube that contains it, because a portion of its gravity is then employed in occasioning its descent along with the vessel; and accordingly, if it were confined in a tube, closed at bottom, it would no longer press with its whole weight upon the lower end. In the same manner, and for the
same reason, the blood no longer presses downwards with its whole weight, and will be driven upwards, by the elasticity which before was merely sufficient to support it. The sickness occasioned by swinging is evidently from the same causes as sea sickness, and that direction of the motion which occasions the most piercing sensation of uneasiness, is conformable to the explanation above given. It is in descending forwards that this sensation is perceived; for, then the blood has the greatest tendency to move from the feet towards the head, since the line joining them is in the direction of the motion. But when, in the descent backwards, the motion is transverse to the line of the body, it occasions little comparative inconvenience, because the tendency to propel the blood towards the head is then inconsiderable. The regularity of the motion in swinging, afforded me an apparently favourable opportunity for trying the effect of inspiration; but, although the advantage was manifest, I must confess, it did not fully equal the expectations I had formed from my experience at sea. It is possible that the suddenness of the descent may in this case be too great to be fully counteracted by such means; but I am inclined to think that the contents of the intestines are also affected by the same cause as the blood; and if these have any direct disposition to regurgitate, this consequence will be in no degree counteracted by the process of respiration. A friend of mine informed me that he had endeavoured to counteract this mechanical effect upon the stomach, and had experienced imme: diate relief from a slight degree of sea sickness, o lying down upon the deck with his head toward the stem of the vessel; by means of which, upon pitching, he was in the attitude of a person descending backwards in a swing. Whether the stomach be or be not thus primarily affected, or only by